To mark Data Protection Day, which commemorates the opening for signature of the Council of Europe data protection convention on 28 January 1981, the Italian Presidency of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe today hosted a conference to discuss the potential as a global privacy standard of the modernised “Convention 108+”.
The modernised convention, not yet in force, builds on the achievements of the 1981 “Convention 108”, which today is the only international, multilateral and legally binding instrument to protect privacy and personal data. It has 55 parties and 36 observers.
In a Declaration at the end of the conference, the Chair of the Ministers’ Deputies, Ambassador Michele Giacomelli, stressed the need for all Parties to the Convention 108 that have not yet done so to ratify the Amending Protocol (CETS No. 223) to make Convention 108+ come to life.
The declaration highlights the role that the modernised treaty can play in protecting privacy and personal data globally and the opportunity that acceding to Convention 108+ represents for any country in the world to have its level of data protection internationally recognised.
In his conference-opening address, Deputy Secretary General Bjørn Berg underlined the contribution that “Convention 108” has made, in Europe and around the world as a bridge between national, regional and international data protection legislation, and called on the states parties which have not yet ratified the protocol updating the treaty to do it without delay.
The Chair of the data protection convention committee, Alessandra Pierucci, said that the states which join Convention 108+ will be able to ensure the highest level of data protection to individuals and full compliance with international standards, as well as to benefit from a strong network of peer states for assistance, advice and support.
Following its ratification by Armenia on 25 January and its signature by Albania today, so far, 16 states have ratified the protocol and another 28 states have signed it with a view to its ratification.
At the end of the conference, the winners of the 4th edition of the Council of Europe’s data protection Stefano Rodotà Award were announced: in the “PhD thesis” category, Teresa Quintel, for her PHD work on data protection in the management of migration flows; and in the articles category, Sabrina Nucciotti, for her work on the role that a machine learning system can play in overcoming the European privacy barriers to health data sharing for medical research.